There’s a problem with cars that has become almost epidemic lately. It’s something that most people would never think about. That’s rodents that eat the wire harnesses in our cars. It disables the car, does all kinds of damage. We’ve seen some where it’s actually totaled the car it was that bad.

One of the reasons behind this is for several years now – various manufacturers have been using wire where the insulation in it is made out of a soy based product. So it looks like food to the rodents. What are some of the things you can do to prevent these sorts of problems?

Number one is to make sure there are no food sources around the car. What you have in many cases, you may have dog food, you may have grass seed, or any number of different things that are around your garage or some place near the car and these are food sources for the rodents. They come toward the car. Once they get in the general vicinity then they discover this soy based material on the wires and they have a feast.

We want the food source done away with so you may find that you have to plug various parts of the car to keep them from getting inside. One of the ways to do that is steel wool. But a better way is bronze wool. The steel wool gets wet and it rusts. The bronze wool will not rust. You buy that  typically at a marine supply store because it’s used on boats.

There are various chemicals that you can buy and various devices that you can buy. Not all of these work, not all of them fail, but you have to try to find a solution. Now here’s something that’s relatively new, and it seems to work. It’s going to take a little work on your part. That’s tape you can wrap the wire harness with that is impregnated with Capsaicin. The thing that you have to remember here is that when you’re working with this stuff you’re certainly going to want to wear rubber gloves in order to protect yourself. And after you’ve done it, do not wipe your eyes until you’ve thoroughly washed your hands.

Another part of that is that if you take your car in for service, make sure you tell the technician that you have this coating on the wire harness. If you don’t they may get involved with it and rub their eyes or something and it’s not going to be fun for them.

There’s no one fool proof solution for this but if you explore these items you can probably get it under control.

If you have a question or a comment, drop me a line. Right here at MotorWeek.